Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Kentucky Commit Sacha Killeya-Jones Outmatched in New York Appearance
NEW YORK – Kentucky signee SachaKilleya-Jones and Pittsburgh-bound Justice Kithcart were not enough for Virginia Episcopal on Saturday afternoon.
The Fighting Bishops were out-hustled, 76-66, by Northfield Mount Hermon at the Big Apple Basketball Invitational at Baruch College. Killeya-Jones, a strong candidate to be selected Sunday night for the McDonald’s All-American Game, finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, but struggled to keep up with the pace of Mount Hermon. Kithcart added 22 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
“I played a terrible game today,” Killeya-Jones said. “It just sucks I had to do it up here.”
Playing an up-tempo style and getting out in transition, Mount Hermon took a 24-point lead into halftime as Episcopal struggled to get into the game. Killeya-Jones and Kithcart played the whole game, and the starting five for Episcopal played over 35 minutes each.
“We knew they played primarily five guys,” Mount Hermon head coach John Carroll said. “They’re used to pacing themselves. So we thought by really up-ing the tempo, it would throw them off a little bit.”
Killeya-Jones is ranked No. 31 in the ESPN Top 100 for the Class of 2016, and will add to one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. Kentucky already locked up three ESPN top 10 recruits and potential lottery picks in two-guard Malik Monk (No. 5), power forward Bam Adebayo (No. 6) and point guard De’Aaron Fox (No. 7), all of whom are strong McDonald’s All-American candidates.
The SEC powerhouse also signed Wenyen Gabriel (No. 23), a 6-9 forward from Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.). Along with likely returnees Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard, Gabriel, the 6-9 Adebayo, and Killeya-Jones will create a crowded, but loaded frontcourt for the Wildcats.
“[Kentucky Coach John Calipari] has talked to all three of us and let us know that nothing is given to anybody – whether you’re ranked No. 1 or 100 in the nation,” Killeya-Jones said. “So, you just have to go in there and fight for your role in practice, which is exactly what I want.”
Mount Hermon big-man A.J. Brodeur held strong against the future Wildcat. The University of Pennsylvania commit finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds and was named MVP.
Tomas Murphy also added 13 points and 6 rebounds despite early foul trouble. The 6-8 forward from the Class of 2017 holds offers from Boston College, Florida, Maryland, Northeastern, Northwestern, Rhode Island and Xavier.
The entire NMH team was headed to Columbia later Saturday evening to watch the Cornell game and visit campus. The team was then slated to scrimmage the Columbia JV on Sunday afternoon.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.